Young age does not protect against the adverse effects of reduced ovarian reserve--an eight year study.


BACKGROUND Ovarian reserve significantly influences IVF outcome. Low response to ovarian stimulation due to reduction of ovarian reserve is occasionally encountered in young women. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of IVF treatment in young patients with reduced ovarian reserve. METHODS AND RESULTS Between January 1993-2001, 762 consecutive patients satisfied the definition of reduced ovarian reserve (raised early follicular phase FSH or gonadotrophin stimulation cycles where three or fewer oocytes were retrieved after routine FSH stimulation) and were included in the study. They were classified into three age groups: young (< or = 30 years), intermediate (31-38 years) and older (>38 years). The three age groups were similar with respect to basal (day 3) serum FSH and estradiol concentrations, cause of infertility and number of previous treatment cycles. Implantation (13, 9.6 and 9.8%), clinical pregnancy (11.8, 10.2 and 10%) and live birth (7.4, 7.3 and 6.8%) rates were not significantly different in the three age groups respectively (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION This study shows that younger patients with reduced ovarian reserve have a poor outcome of IVF treatment similar to their older counterparts. Such information may be helpful in counselling these patients who otherwise might anticipate an outcome related to their chronological age.


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